Glorious Wrestling Alliance: Ultimate Championship Edition

Graphic Universe. Oct. 2021. 112p. Tr $29.32. ISBN 9781541589797; pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781728431086.
Gr 9 Up–Glorious Wrestling Alliance is a tongue-in-cheek homage to pro wrestling that will have readers rooting for a scrappy crew of misfit athletes. Great Carp, who has a fish for a head, is the current champion, but he’s having an existential crisis (“I just feel…empty. And lost. And overwhelmed. All the bad feelings”). Other team members are grappling with identity issues: Miranda Fury resents being seen as a lesser wrestler because of her gender; Gravy Train, who has a gravy boat for a body, wants a different persona; and tortured poet Death Machine wants his writings to be taken seriously. A traveling tour results in comedy and mayhem as they all struggle to move into new roles. Cult classics in some circles, Hicks’s comics have been collected and colorized for the first time. His straightforward six-panel format, with occasional breaks for amusing maps or sidebars, capably brings to life the characters. The story has a “Scott Pilgrim” vibe, with witty dialogue and spot-on satire poking fun at the world of pro wrestling. Miranda Fury and Death Machine appear to be white; Gravy Train is cued as Asian.
VERDICT This campy graphic novel is a knockout; sure to be popular with older youth and adults, who will enjoy the quirky illustrations and humor.

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